Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
For those of you missed John Rhys-Davies’s performance on the BBC’s politics as circus show Question Time last night, here is the man himself channeling the great Adam Ant. Green MP Caroline Lucas is his audience of one:
Oh Woman, no Cry…. Oooooh Woman!!!!! no cry:
Note: John Rhys-Davies is (looks at web) an actor.
An article on the website for the ‘Labour Representation Committee’ (LRC) – Honorary President: John McDonnell, the current shadow chancellor – appears beneath the headline: “JLM Stabs Labour in the Back.” JLM is the Jewish Labour Movement. This week the JLM voted to pass a motion of no confidence in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over the party’s handling of anti-Semitism. They says he is unfit to be Prime Minister.
The LRC states its mission: “The task for today’s LRC, founded in 2004, is to fight for power within the Labour Party and trade unions and to appeal to the tens of thousands who, during the Tony Blair years, turned away from our party in disillusion and despair.”
The LRC article says the JLM has “declared war on Labour”. The JLM “want the Tories to win”. They aim to “feed the allegations of ‘institutional antisemitism’ against Labour, and as such has been eagerly gobbled up by the Tory press”. It spots an article that “points the finger at Israeli intelligence in helping to refound the dormant JLM”. It ends: “They are stabbing us in the back. That is insupportable. The JLM must be disaffiliated from Labour as soon as possible.”
JLM Vice-Chair Joe Goldberg tells the Jewish Chronicle: “This article makes it clear that they will blame Jews for any failure at the ballot box, further enabling racism towards Jews. The language of ‘betray’ and ‘backstabbing’ are dogwhistles to antisemitism that Jews have experienced too many times to monstrous effect… They continue to deny and obfuscate the scale of anti-Jewish racism within the Labour Party, and attack Jews for standing up to racism, citing conspiracists and fake news as their evidence. Yet the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, continues as its president. The Labour Party cannot in good faith claim to be acting against antisemitism and whilst its leadership in the shadow cabinet and the NEC associate themselves with this organisation.”
The LRC website says it’s affiliated to the sensitive Fire Brigades union. Interesting to hear if they have anything to say on this.
Shami Chakrabarti, given a seat in the House of Lords and made a Dame after telling us there is no anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, was on the telly this morning telling the Jewish Labour Movement they should remain in Labour because Jeremy Corbyn “won’t be the leader forever”. True. But have you see who they want to follow him?
“My plea to the Jewish Labour Movement is to stay in the Labour movement and to tackle racism together, not to personalise it and make it about Jeremy Corbyn, because he is one person and he won’t be leader forever.”
You can tackle racism with the rest of Labour just as soon as, er, the leader Shami fully supports and wants to govern the nation has gone. In the meanwhile, your presence in Labour is an endorsement of the Party accused of being rife with Jew hatred.
Don’t worry, turkeys, says the turkey farmer looking at his full Christmas order book, next year we’ll all be vegans and things will be great.
Time for Jexit.
Brexit has coughed up all manner of MPs whose names are new to many of us. Meet Caroline Johnson, Tory MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham since the by-election on 8 December 2016. She says Theresa May talking Brexit with Jeremy Corbyn represents “ushering in a Marxist, anti-semite led government”. Just as Rowan Atkinson is always a “rubber-faced comedian” and gauntlets are always tossed down, will Corbyn be forever known as “the anti-semitic Labour leader”? And for how many people will Jew hatred be the hook that finally convinces them Communism is the right way?
The New Statesman says Johnson’s surmising of Corbyn’s politics offers no comment on the man. It simply “reflects just how weak a hold Downing Street has on party discipline”. The magazine considers the comment unworthy of investigation.
May duly explained her current position:
“When we suffered a chemical weapons attack on the streets of Salisbury, it was me as Prime Minister, this government that stood up against the perpetrators of that attack. [Mr Corbyn] said he’d prefer to believe Vladimir Putin than our own security agencies. That is not the place of somebody that should be prime minister… I want to ensure that we deliver Brexit, I want to ensure that we do it in an orderly way, without fighting European elections. But to do that we need to find a way of this House agreeing the Withdrawal Agreement and agreeing the way forward. And it is on that basis that I have been sitting down with members across the House and will continue to do so in order to ensure that we can find a way forward that this House can support.”
The Times quotes one “veteran Tory MP” who says Mrs May is isolated from mainstream party opinion: “She’s like a prisoner on death row, getting another two-week reprieve. The truth is she is no longer in control of events.”
May’s on Death Row, then, although the date of her execution is not yet fixed. Like racing snails, would-be Tory leaders jockey for position. See the person not the MP, goes the message. But whoever commissioned Parliament to be televised, and created entire channels for the purpose, should have known that familiarity breeds contempt. The smart move is to hand the show to Simon Cowell. Cut-away shots of the public galleries, where an emotionally corralling mix of the physically handicapped, telegenic and whooping can direct us at home to which way our sympathies should bend.
“I cried when Boyzone, split up,” says one audience member, before turning to Theresa May and asking “How do you feel?”
Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn will join forces to solve Brexit, forming the kind of made-for-ITV drama partnership mouth breathers will love. In episode one of Chalk ‘n’ Cheese / Marx and Narks / Remain & Remain we see the intrepid duo meeting for “national unity” talks. The tabloids preview the show:
The Sun (front page): “PM TO CORBYN: HELLLLPP!!” May’s locked in a room with scented Liam Fox and Geoffrey Cox’s Voice of God. Can Corbyn get into Number 10? “After 7 hours of Cabinet lockdown, May’s gone soft over Brexit mess,” says the Sun. May’s “bright idea” is to think Corbyn can help. His face appears superimposed on a screw-in lightbulb, evoking the time the Sun did the same to then Labour leader Neil Kinnock, telling readers to turn the lights off if he got into power. Kinnock lost that time but soon trotted off to a massive salary in Brussels, from where he and his ilk will be soon controlling the UK post-Brexit. Votes, who needs ’em?
But in Brexit terms it’s earth hour, says the Metro. The lightbulbs are about to go out across the UK if a deal with the EU cannot be done. Cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill says a no-deal Brexit will “make the country less safe, cause food prices to rise by ten per cent and lead to a recession”.
Daily Mail (front page): “May delays Brexit AGAIN and kills off No Deal — Boris leads Tory fury as Corbyn invited to ‘compromise’ talks”. The talks have been compromised! If you don’t know which side the Mail is on get a load of the billing: only Boris Johnson is on first-name terms with the paper’s readership. Johnson arrives on page 2 to accuse “Mrs May of betrayal”. But Michael Gove backs May. He backs lots of things and so long as you don’t back into him, all is good.
Johnson is all over page 6: “You’ve handed Brexit deal to Corbyn, bitter Boris tells May.” He’ll vote against any deal with the Labour leader. One page on and Henry Deedes gives his verdict, employing language familiar to anyone who spends afternoons chemically coshed in front of reruns of the BBC’s Antiques Road Trip and howls with laughter at Readers’ Digest ‘Life’s Like That’ anecdotes.
Daily Mirror (front page): “HELP ME JEREMY,” says a “despairing Theresa May”. Jeremy will rescue things. “Jezza says he’ll talk”. But wait a moment. Might it be a trap?
Page 5: Jason Beattie, who writes beneath the marvellous title “head of politics”, says Corbyn is “well aware he’s being lined up for a fall”. “To keep his party together his minimum request should be for a customs union and a second referendum,” he advises. Will May agree to Remain? Will her successor rip-up any agreement? Will Brexit detectives Fudgeit and Snubs get to the bottom of things?
Daily Express (front page): “It’s Time For National Unity…Over To You Mr Corbyn.” Mr.. Not just ‘Corbyn’. By page four the language is back to basics. The Express phone poll asks: “Should Corbyn be entrusted with final Brexit deal?” That’s the Brexit-supporting Express asking its readers to spend 50p on a referendum that may carry less weight than, well, the referendum in which 17.4 millions of voted to leave.
Vote now and vote often.
Theresa May is to beg the EU for an extension to the latest Brexit deadline. She wants to “break the logjam” in Parliament. The majority of us have no such troubles having voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU. But MPs know better. So there’s lots of dead wood jostling for position in muddy waters by the Thames.
May wants any extension to be “as short as possible”. We were due to leave the EU last week. But the MPs didn’t like that. So we stayed. She now wants us to decide things before 22 May so the UK does not have to take part in European elections. And we need to get a wiggle on because the current extension expires on April 12. If nothing is sorted and the EU doesn’t grant us an extension, we leave without a deal.
“This is a difficult time for everyone. Passions are running high on all sides of the argument,” says May, “but we can and must find the compromises that will deliver what the British people voted for.”
Leave. We voted to leave. Pretty simple.
She continued: “This is a decisive moment in the story of these islands and it requires national unity to deliver the national interest.”
We voted to Leave. But we won’t get what we want. May says she will talk with Jeremy Corby, a leaver who became a Remainer. This week the Labour leader whipped his MPs to vote for the ‘Common Market 2.0’ option of remaining in the EU Customs Union and Single Market.
So much for Brexit.
How’s this for leadership: of the four Brexit-style options chosen by the Speaker to be voted on later tonight, not one was suggested by any potential Tory leader. Two motions put forward by Tory MPs are up for grabs, but neither are from leadership hopefuls and both amount to a remain vote: avuncular Ken Clark wants “a permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union with the EU”; and Nick Boles, the one with the looks of the head of year who cycles to work at an underperforming county prep school, wants the UK to remain part of the EU single market.
Theresa May has agreed to leave No. 10. So you’d think the likes of Michael Gove and Boris Johnson would have seized the moment to propose their Brexit solutions and win the country, the day and the new house. But both of them only run in circles around the park: Gove on hairless, pale legs and clutching a mobile phone like he’s waiting for his wife to ask him if he bought the right sort of cherry tomatoes (clue: he forgot last time); and the priapic Johnson dressed in clothes picked for their ghastliness in the hope that any secretary, maid or lap-dancer within breathing distance and possessed of a muon of fashion nous will order him to get them off.
Nothing too from Amber Ruud or Dominic Raaaaaaab or Sajid Javid or Andrea Leadsom or David Davis or Jeremy Hunt. But special mention must go to John Baron, the Conservative MP who put forward not one but two ideas for indicative votes, both rejected by the Speaker. Can Baron be the next Tory leader? He’s one more rejection away from being every bit as successful as Theresa May. If he campaigns for the Tory leadership vote in a field of one, as May did, the job’s his. How’s that for democracy?
Vote now and vote often. And keep voting until you indicate something MPs approve of and can make happen.
Brexit negotiations were written by Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie:
Meanwhile… Jacob Rees-Mogg is on Newsnight:
PS: Anyone got any tapes of Alas Smith And Jones so we can know what Tusk and Junker talk about?
The newspapers mostly ignore yesterday’s Brexit rally outside Parliament. Thousands of Leave supporters gathered at Westminster on the day the UK was scheduled by law to leave the EU. But laws are made to be mangled in Parliament. Hours earlier 184 MPs had voted in favour of revoking Article 50. So we got very little.
Only three newspapers lead with the crowds. The i (team: Remain) presents a picture of confrontation. There were five arrests for allegedly being: drunk and disorderly; wanted in connection with an offence in Hertfordshire; assaulting a police officer; assault (x2). “Brexit march,” says the Standard’s (Remain) headline, “five arrests as Leave supporters clash with police in Westminster.” Is five a lot? How many constitutes a rebellion? It’s enough for the paper’s main story on the protest. If you fear Leave voters and seek to portray them as the products of a Tommy Robinson dry toss, then five typifies the 17.4 million of us who to voted to leave in a free and fair vote approved by all MPs, the 184 anti-democrats included.
In a liberal democracy, a free and open society needs tense debate and verbal conflict to survive. Suppression is wrong and foolish. Rational argument and public opinion are lifeblood. The vote is all most of us have to express out views. Reject the vote and give the intolerant a foothold.
So those five arrests to breaching the limits of society’s tolerance. How do five arrests compare to the number of suspects pinched at the pro-Remain march staged last October? The Guardian told us at the very end of an article headlined “Huge crowd turns out in London to demand a ‘people’s vote’ on Brexit”: “A spokesperson for the Metropolitan police said they were not aware of any disorder nor were there any significant arrests.” Number? Dunno. But in July 2018, police arrested six anti-Trump protesters at a protest. Six might be significant.
The Express (Leave) sees the people behaving peacefully.
The Telegraph (Leave) evokes the spirit of Churchill.
Last week, MPs rejected 8 alternative solutions for Brexit. They then rejected Theresa May’s deal for the third time. No arrests have been made. But we can agree on one: the country is split not because the EU inspires and destroys, rather because it’s so utterly mediocre, nebulous and dull. How bothered are you Britishers about staying in the EU: 50-50. Meh.
The EU plans to introduce technology to limit the speed of vehicles sold in Europe from 2022. “Every year, 25,000 people lose their lives on our roads,” says EU Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska. “The vast majority of these accidents are caused by human error. With the new advanced safety features that will become mandatory, we can have the same kind of impact as when safety belts were first introduced.” UK charity Brake says speed is a contributory factor in about a quarter of all fatal crashes. There were 26,610 people killed or seriously injured on British roads in the year ending June 2018.
No word yet on whether limiters will be fitted to police cars and other emergency vehicles. But the Daily Express cites the move as evidence that EU chiefs are “STILL meddling in British affairs”. The Mirror hails it as “the end of speeding”.
The other way to end speeding is to end speed limits, like on sections of Germany’s autobahns. Recent proposed speed limit enforcements over there were slammed as going “against all common sense” by Minister of Transportation Andrews Scheuer. The EU versus Germany – discuss.
The upshot of this legislation is to hasten moves towards driverless trucks, vans and cars. When people are not in control of their vehicles, we can do away with driver insurance. As Adrian Wooldridge noted:
When people are no longer in control of their cars they will not need driver insurance—so goodbye to motor insurers and brokers. Traffic accidents now cause about 2m hospital visits a year in America alone, so autonomous vehicles will mean much less work for emergency rooms and orthopaedic wards. Roads will need fewer signs, signals, guard rails and other features designed for the human driver; their makers will lose business too. When commuters can work, rest or play while the car steers itself, longer commutes will become more bearable, the suburbs will spread even farther and house prices in the sticks will rise. When self-driving cars can ferry children to and from school, more mothers may be freed to re-enter the workforce. The popularity of the country pub, which has been undermined by strict drink-driving laws, may be revived. And so on.
Why buy a car when you can take out a subscription to one? But will your vehicle be able to pass the Turing Test – you want to hear your taxi driver’s opinions on Brexit, don’t you? Or is humanity obsolete?
“People are lashing out justifiably,” said Douglas Rushkoff, a media theorist at City University of New York and author of the book “Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus.” He likened driverless cars to robotic incarnations of scabs — workers who refuse to join strikes or who take the place of those on strike.
“There’s a growing sense that the giant corporations honing driverless technologies do not have our best interests at heart,” Mr. Rushkoff said. “Just think about the humans inside these vehicles, who are essentially training the artificial intelligence that will replace them.”
You’re hermetically sealed inside a box and you’ve given Google the keys. They don’t just know where you’ve been on the web – they know every physical move you’ve made, too. The freedom of the open road is a thing of the past. So, dude, where’s my flying car..?
Renowned spoon bender Uri Geller says he can stop Brexit with the power of this mind – just as he’s stopped Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister.
Geller’s powers are mighty but, alas, he has been unable to prevent his old mucker Michael Jackson from being dug up and beaten with sticks:
Jean-Claude Junker dines with the long spoon.
When fans of West Ham United taunt Spurs’ ‘Yid Army’ with the chant ‘He’s coming for you, he’s coming for you, we won’t say his name, but he’s coming for you’ we know they mean Hitler. At first glance that ‘he’ could refer to any number of anti-Semites, but the song often comes with a hissing sound supposed to evoke the sound of Nazi gas ovens. It’s Hitler. Move on.
And we know the name of another racist mass murderer, the man who slaughtered Muslims as they prayed in Christchurch, New Zealand. But should we say it? The country’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern told her parliament: “He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless.”
Right now the killer’s name will be familiar to more people than those of his victims. And that is both understandable and lamentable. But knowing one victim’s story can help us understand the pain of the many. Six million Jews were murdered in World War 2. That huge number of stolen lives is too vast to comprehend. But thanks to Anne Frank’s diary, we get to focus on one human life snuffed out, and we connect. We can empathise and walk in her shoes.
Fifty people were murdered at Christchurch. Mucad Ibrahim was three. What can you say about a three-year-old out with his loving family? He was “energetic, playful and liked to smile and laugh a lot” says his brother. Can you stand it?
Omar Faruk “usually worked on Fridays and always felt sorry he can’t attend the Friday prayers,” says his wife Sanjida Zaman Neha. “But last Friday he called her to say was let off work early because it was raining.”
“I want him back. I would rather that I went than him,” says Junaid Kara’s bother Ismail. “I’m the naughty twin, he’s the better one and that’s how it is. That’s all I want to say about my brother.” It’s the facts that sting. The little things make it human. It’s hard to bear. The horror becomes real through the ordinary details, painfully so.
Their killer wanted to end lives and through murder achieve fame. He live-streamed the massacre and posted his manifesto online. He craved the oxygen on publicity. He wanted his heinous crime to stand for something bigger. It doesn’t. It represents nothing but his depravity. Analysing his words for meaning invests in them a power they lack. Watching people murdered says more about you than him. And it says nothing good.
So should we say his name? Does saying it make the horror more real and more likely to reoccur? Is censorship born from fear of triggering copycat crimes – handing other inadequate bastards a ready-packaged reason to plug the moral vacuum in their lives – or respect for the dead and bereaved?
Arden shouldn’t worry. Try this: can you name any of the 19 hijackers who murdered 2,977 people in 9/11? How about the 4 bombers who murdered 56 people on 7/7? What about the man who murdered 22 people killed at the Manchester Arena? Not all names stick for long do they? The Christchurch killer’s name won’t either. You’ll remember the event but nearly all of us will forget the killer.
US President Donald Trump ‘has attacked the late Senator John McCain, complaining that he “didn’t get a thank you” for his state funeral.” So says the BBC. McCain never talked when he was in the Hanoi Hilton and he sure as hell ain’t gonna start now that he’s dead.
“We sent him on the way, but I wasn’t a fan of John McCain,” said Trump, reading the room on a visit to an Ohio tank factory. “I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president I had to approve. I don’t care about this, I didn’t get a thank you. That’s OK.”
Comment from McCain came there none.
You can’t come out from under there yet. And go easy on those provisions you’ve stored and planned to live on until March 29 when you could re-emerge into society. And save some of the Buffalo mozzarella – that stuff could be worth more than gold in post-Brexit Islington. Brexit is being delayed, well, it will be if Theresa May can get permission from the EU – you know, the body the country rejected in favour of being sovereign. There, there. Hush. Banging your head into the wall won’t help in the long run. And by the time you come out, the Polish repair team will have left for China. Here, to keep you going is a copy of the Daily Star.
There’s little talk of Brexit on planet Star. The paper focuses on breasts and factory worker Ade Goodchild, who has won £71m in the EuroMillions lottery. He was the only winner of the £71,057,439 prize on Friday. The BBC says he’ll travel the world and buy a home with a swimming pool.
You cares what colour your passport is when you’ve loadsa money? Good for Ade. And his fortune might be better news for our MPs, too, because Ade is looking for staff. If he needs a boat, Chris Grayling Ferries can sort him out; John ‘ORDER!’ Bercow is handy in restaurants; and Jeremy Corbyn is a shoo-in as a travel agent, fixing trips to Iran, Russia and Venezuela.
And what millionaire doesn’t need a life-size weather house? Call me, Mrs May, I have ideas…
In the latest news, a poll conducted by Sky discovers that 90% of us consider the handling of negotiations with the EU a “national humiliation”. Seven percent of mouth breathers who had their gimp masks unzipped long enough to speak said it was not humiliating in the slightest.
Three percent who don’t know what the word “humiliation” means answered “don’t know”.
John Bercow is the “smug Speaker” (Sun) who yelled “Bollocks to Brexit” (see Mrs Bercow’s bumper sticker) who “ambushed” (Mail) the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal. Bercow, the House of Commons’ warden, told MPs that Theresa May cannot bring her deal back for a third vote without “substantial changes”. We cannot have “Groundhog May” (Mirror). Rules are rules. And the ruling Mr Bercow cited from 1604 justifies his decision to block a third vote.
That’s 1604 the year, not 16:04 the time – and given the volatile nature of Brexit negotiation you’re forgiven for confusing the two.
Henry Deedes, writing in the Mail is upset. His paper, which supports May’s deal, says Bercow fired an “Exorcet rocket straight to the core” of May’s Brexit strategy. An Exorcet is the French-made missile used by the Argentines to sink the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Sheffield during the Falklands War. Twenty man were killed. From deadly missile to cheap shot. How language moves on. But at least laws stay rooted.
The Express calls Bercow “The Brexit Destroyer”. The Sun opts for similarly warlike imagery, saying Bercow “torpedoed Theresa May’s EU deal”. “GOTCHA!” as an alternative take on this might have put it. The paper’s editorial calls Bercow “obnoxious, discredited and shameless”. Well, he is also an MP.
Only the Mirror is non-plussed. The news features on its page 2 – that’s the page nobody reads. Well, that’s not exactly true. John Bercow reads it because he’s on it. The replicant incubating in his loins needs the sustenance of media coverage.
What next? Well, for Bercow and his Tourette’s-like scream ‘Divisionnnnnn” the opportunity to sort out camp rations in the I’m a Celebrity jungle surely beckons. For the rest of us, it’s apathy and Ray Mears boxsets.
Forty-nine people are known to have been murdered as they prayed in a New Zealand mosque. The killer live-streamed the massacre on Facebook. On LBC Radio, Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson used his hosted show to call Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook, “wicked”. Watson said he “dreams of the day” when he no longer has to use social media.
Watson sounds like the intro to 1970s TV show Why Don’t You?, which advised British children tuning in to turn the telly off and get a life – but only after they’d finished watching this show, which was more pure than all the other shows. So by all means use Twitter and Facebook, but only listen to people who advocate “decency”, like Tom Watson.
The Daily Telegraph calls the slaughter the first social media terror attack. The Sun calls the killer the ‘FACEBOOK TERRORIST”. The Mail says it’s the “MASSACRE SHAME ON FACEBOOK”. The mood is clear: more censorship is required to prevent a repeat of this. But is that how you stop a disease from spreading? And who gets to decide what we, the impressionable masses, get to see?
You can argue about what kind of person seeks out a video of people being murdered, and why anyone not involved in psychopathic studies would want to spend a muon of their time reading the killer’s long manifesto. But should things be banned?
Maybe context is key? In France, the odious Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right National Rally, is being investigated for her tweets. Her response to suggestions that the Far-Right has much in common with jihadism was to tweet the pointer “This is Daesh” and a series of gruesome photos. She thought it useful to show her followers images of a man being burned alive in a cage and decapitated US journalist James Foley. Le Pen has been charged with “circulating violent pictures liable to be seen by children”. “Sharing is caring,” says the blurb beneath social media icons. Not always it isn’t.
So, who else be blamed?
“New Zealand Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video,” Mia Garlick, Facebook’s director of policy for Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement. Facebook is “removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware,” Garlick added.
A caller to Watson’s show said words heard in any video can be transcribed by machine learning. If the broadcast features a word on the banned list, then the video is flagged. So, for instance, a video of Tom Watson talking about “porn” and “white supremacy” would be flagged and blocked at the gate. The problem with that approach is clear. No platforming words and ideas diminishes us all.
What to do? Well, a word from Waleed Aly is worth listening to:
Look out for the air and sea invasion. Tony Blair has been advising France’s President Macron on ways to beat the Brits in Brexit negotiations.
We voted for Brexit but Tony’s a bit ‘whatevs’ on the democracy lark. That Blair has no truck with democracy is something echoed by supporters of Saddam Hussein who voted their man into power on the kind of majority politicians dream of. On 16 October 2002, Saddam polled 100% of the popular vote, eclipsing the 99.96% received in 1995. The first message is clear: be careful what you wish for, dear Remainers, the second referendum might go worse for you. The second message is: a 52% percent approval rating for Brexit is the kind of result that gets Blair on the phone to fighter command. If he goes with form, France should invade the UK in around 45 minutes.
The Telegraph says the storied interventionist told Macron to “hold firm” while events play out in the UK. Blair told him that Parliament may eventually accept a customs union or grant the British public a second referendum on Brexit. So don’t give the sods an inch.
Ukipper Douglas Carswell writes in the Telegraph:
Stop and think about that for a moment. The French government is taking advice on how to deal with our country from someone last elected to public office fourteen years ago. That’s the same year that YouTube started – or two years before the first smartphone appeared.
TREASON! screams the Express. The paper hears “ex-Labour MP George Galloway” take to Twitter to say: “This is treason!” Last month the Express reported: “John Mann brands George Galloway a ‘TRAITOR to Labour.” Is Blair merely the alleged traitor’s alleged traitor? Is Macron Blair’s lovechild?
And vitally: can we start the air, rail and sea blockade with Blair still in Paris?
More questions over the dreaded mainstream media’s treatment of Jeremy Corbyn and his comrades after last night’s BBC News at Ten used an image of shadow chancellor John McDonnell to trail a TV show called Fleabag during a segment on Brexit.
Fleabag is about an angry, confused young woman living in London. As anyone knows, John McDonnell as with Corbyn, is an angry and confused man living in London. Although Labour abhors gender labelling, so McDonnell might well be angry and confused woman living in London after all.
John McDonnell is 68.
Gabriel Pogrund has huge news. A scoop! “EXCLUSIVE: The mystery of who sold Picasso’s “Child with a Dove” for £50M in 2013, one of the most expensive artworks ever, is today solved.” Who?! “It was the family of Laura Murray, Corbyn’s top aide, who also gifted her a £1.4m house. By me & @ShippersUnbound.”
A tale of minted former communists, nepotism, huge sums of cash, the randy Spanish goat and the man who would lead the nation. What a story this promises to be. A little aside before we tuck in: Laura Murray us being sued by Rachel Riley, co-presenter of ITV’s Countdown, for alleged libel. Now read on in the Times…
Today it can be revealed that her family was behind the anonymous sale of one of the most expensive artworks in history, Pablo Picasso’s L’Enfant au Pigeon (Child with a Dove), which was sold for £50m in 2013. She also owns a share of a £1.3m north London property transferred to her by her mother, reportedly saving up to £500,000 in inheritance tax.
Murray is the daughter of Andrew Murray, 60, a key Corbyn adviser who comes from Scottish aristocracy and whose grandfather served as the imperial governor of Madras. He left the Communist Party after 40 years in 2016.
Who dares say socialism doesn’t pay? These people sound like a well-stocked elite. If we vote for them, do we all get to be their equals? Bread today – Picasso’s and pricey London pads tomorrow!
The Times adds:
Laura Murray, great-granddaughter of the 2nd Baron Aberconway, an Eton-educated Edwardian industrialist, and Lady Aberconway, his wife, who was bequeathed Picasso’s masterpiece by the art collector rumoured in the family to have been her lover, Samuel Courtauld. The Aberconway family’s decision to pull the work from public display at the Courtauld Gallery in London and put it up for sale through Christie’s, the auction house, in 2012 became a cause célèbre.
Get those Bullingdon Club application forms in the post. Corbyn and chums can yet be saved. If Picasso’s Blue Period is good enough for them, so too is Boris Johnson’s.
The identity of the seller was a mystery at the time, although speculation pointed to the branch of the family that still owns Baron Aberconway’s 5,000-acre estate in north Wales. In fact, the transaction was overseen by Laura Murray’s mother, Susan Michie, an academic, and her uncle, Jonathan Michie, an Oxford economist and university friend of Labour’s communications director, Seumas Milne. Both declined to comment.
But is it a scoop, really? In 2010, the Guardian told us:
The painting came to London in 1924 with Mrs RA Workman who was, along with her husband, a major collector of impressionist and post-impressionist art. She sold it a few years later to Samuel Courtauld, and on his death in 1947 he left it to his friend Lady Aberconway, and it had been in her family ever since.
The facts were known for years. And a quick look at a family tree could trace a line from the toff to the Trots. But the timing of the Times’ report is interesting.
Comment from Murray and the Labour Party features there none.
Donald Trump capped a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook by referring him as “Tim Apple”. And nobody in the room – not one person – laughed.
Nobody in the room ever laughs. Why is that?
Is this why he named his company Trump, so he could remember what the hell it was called? That question to you Ivanka Trump, daughter of Ivana Trump.
More on Jeremy Corbyn and his problem with Jews and anti-semitism in his version of the Labour Party. The Times says an ally of the Labour leader’s blocked the suspension of Labour Party member Kayla Bibby, who posted “an antisemitic image of an alien with the Star of David on its back grasping the Statue of Liberty by the face, suggesting control over the US.” Want to see it? Here it is:
The Times reproduces details from what it says are leaked emails. The exchange goes like this:
Labour complaints official:
“We have received a complaint about Kayla Bibby relating to the attached posts. The most worrying of which being the final one that depicts a monster with the star of David printed on it on the face of the statue of liberty suggesting that jewish people control America. I recommend suspension, can you confirm your view?”
A figure described as a “Corbyn ally”:
“I think it is clear that all the post appear to be directed at Israel, not at Jews. However, there is clearly room for significant misinterpretation, as for example the alien image on post 4 has a blue Star of David, which could be taken as an image representing either Jewish people generally, or the state of Israel specifically. However, the context of the other posts would point to it being anti-Israel, not anti-Jewish. There does not appear to be use of generalised use of antisemitic imagery, but rather these are generally distasteful cartoons about the perceived relationship [of] Israel and the US. The first post did concern me, and the language of “Israeli agent” should be subject of the warning, but given that it was closely based on a news story from a mainstream publication, I don’t think it is more widely actionable.”
Zero tolerance to anti-Semitism was what was promised.
Wes Streeting, a Labour MP, goes on the record: “I don’t see how anyone could objectively look upon this grotesque image and fail to conclude that this is racist, antisemitic filth of the highest order. Not only is it worthy of the Nazis, it literally features on a far-right website.”
A Labour party spokesperson is quoted: “This is a malicious, selective briefing from a disgruntled former employee. It is a deeply unfair attack on staff working in good faith to apply the Party rule book to individual cases and progress complaints through the party’s disciplinary processes.”
Can it be that a vote for the Labour Party is a vote for Jew hatred?
Ilhan Omar is the Somali-American elected to a seat in the US congress. She is noticeable by her hijab, a rare sight in Congress. This Democrat is also making headlines for her problem with Jews.
She’s not a far-Right anti-Semite. No tattooed knuckles, Swastika and bone head for her. Omar’s little problem is that she keeps casting Jews as things less worthy than the rest of society, things outside the civilised norm. She says “Israel has hypnotised the world” for its “evil doings”. She says US politicians defend Israel because “It’s all about the Benjamins” paid by the American Israel Political Action Committee to blind the world to that age-old unique Jewish barbarity.
This is about Jews and their kabbalistic rites. Jews and their money. Jews and their control of world affairs. Jews cannot be trusted. Jews can never be patriots. Jews are always something other. Never trust a Jew.
Alerted to such blatant anti-semitism – I believe they’re called tropes – and pressured by leading members in her party to apologise – Omar realised her error. She offered an apology or sorts in which she cast herself as the victim and embarked on a familiar journey away from ignorance.
And then she took a turn back to her old path. “It’s all about the Benjamins,” shouted a member of her fan club as she attended a meet and greet at a Washington DC book store. Omar did not slap the commenter down. She smiled. And then she told the throng: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country”.
Got that? Pledge allegiance to the US flag and you’re pledging allegiance to Israel and those pesky Jews. That’s not a long-standing alliance. It is, dear readers, a Jewish conspiracy. Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke branded the US federal government the ZOG (Zionist-Occupied Government). But Omar’s nothing like that white, Christian man.
She dug down. Omar replied to a tweet from Representative Nita Lowey of New York, “should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress.”
To Omar’s side at the book store sat her fellow Muslim congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib. She once opined that American political supporters of Israel “forgot what country they represent”. To see Israel as an ally is to be a traitor to the USA. Anti-Semitic much? No! Perish the thought. “A lot of our Jewish colleagues, a lot of constituents, a lot of our allies, go to thinking that everything we say about Israel to be anti-Semitic because we are Muslim,” says Omar.
You see. She can’t be an anti-Semite because she’s a Muslim woman. Everyone on the enlightened, colour-blind Left knows that.
John Murphy, the man accused of assaulting Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, has been talking. He tells the Guido Fawkes blog:
“Yesterday I squished an egg on Jeremy Corbyn’s head. I look forward to coming to parliament to meet with Mr Corbyn. He has invited Hamas and IRA so I am sure he will be happy to invite a harmless egg thrower like me. My one request? That he respect the referendum result. The suffragettes believed that if you reject democratic rights, civil disobedience is acceptable. Jeremy Corbyn and hundreds of other MPs are seeking to deny the democratic rights of most of our country, so I believe that makes civil disobedience egg-ceptable.”
Yep. “Squished”. There is no footage of the incident. Corbyn was “unharmed” says the BBC. And if Murphy claims it was a “squished” egg, can we argue otherwise? Yes, because how the egg made contact with Corbyn has been the matter of much heated debate.
“The Labour leader was visiting a mosque in north London when the egg was thrown at him on Sunday” – BBC
Corbyn was “punched” with an egg:
The egg was “fisted” in the Guardian:
The Labour MP Jess Phillips tweeted after the Corbyn incident: “Acts of violence against politicians, loses your argument, lessens your cause and demeans our democracy. It’s also just horrid. Don’t do it. If you don’t agree with him raise your voice not your fists.”
The “punched” egg might have contained a knife:
The Scottish Daily Record says Corbyn was “pelted” with a “thrown” egg.
The Metro says: “A man has been arrested after hitting Jeremy Corbyn with an egg.”
What egg? Show me the egg!
Sky News says the egg was “placed” on Corbyn’s head.
It’ll all come out in court, of course – and in the wash, should Corbyn have an eggy stain to remove.
On 08 December 1997, Jeremy Corbyn wanted to ban us from knowing about a song by The Prodigy. The groups’ frontman Keith Flint has died too soon at the age of just 49. The early day motion to ban the mesmeric, relentless Smack My Bitch Up went:
That this House expresses its disgust and outrage at the advertising billboard campaign to promote a record album entitled Smack my Bitch Up; and urges the recording company to withdraw this advertisement immediately.
Of the 41 people who wanted music banned, the following are notable:
Where are they now? Yep – ‘Disgusted of Westminster’ are threatening to lead the country.
Spotter: Keith Flint, the last punk